Deborah McDermott grew up as a typical horse-crazy little girl. She loved Breyer horses and horse models, and she loved to draw horses. She never dreamed that someday her equine sculptures would be used as the basis of a new model horse collection created by Collecta International Ltd., a toy company based in Hong Kong and with offices in the U.K.
About Equine and Model Horse Artist Deborah McDermott
How did you get started as an equine artist?
"I grew up loving and owning Breyer horses. I also loved to draw and my main subject was always a horse. I didn't really begin sculpting until my early 20s when I took a bronze casting class at a community college. I wanted to cast a bronze horse, but I didn't finish the sculpture in time for the class. I did go on to complete the sculpture and have it cast in bronze. The work of Edwin Bogucki pictured in Arabian Horse World magazine is what inspired me to sculpt and learn about bronze casting."
Were you always involved with model horses?
"I didn't discover that there was such thing as the model horse hobby until 2002. I was online looking for a medium to cast with in addition to bronze when I came across Deb and Randy Buckler's website. I contacted them about casting one of my sculptures in resin. Within a few months I had also discovered and attended the Model Horse Jamboree as a vendor, which was a huge model horse show held at the fairgrounds in Pomona, California. I took the original wax sculpture of Romantic with me to the show and he sold out shortly thereafter."
Collecta Model Horses
Are the sculptures uniquely for their line models, or were they released originally as resins or with another company?
"The horses are created for Collecta Toys to produce in PVC plastic for their line of collectibles. I have also retained the right to produce a limited number in resin and currently you can find the Hanoverian and Tennessee Walking Horse on my website. For the artist resin release I have made some changes to the models such as smoothing out the hair details, refining features and adding details like tiny veining.
Please share more details about The Collecta Deborah McDermott Collection.
"The coolest part to me is that the tiniest details are captured in a plastic medium that is super kid friendly and very easy on your pocketbook. The finishwork of the Collecta horses is very nice and the colors are realistic. The Appaloosa has mottled skin like its real counterpart has. There is an eye-catching metallic sheen to some of the colors, like the mane and tail of the palomino Tennessee Walking Horse for instance, that is very pleasing. It simulates the natural shine of a healthy horse and gives some depth to the piece. There are variations in the chestnut and bay shades among the different breeds like that dark bay Andalusian and the bright bay
Hanoverian just like you would find in the real world, too."
What breeds are available now?
"Available so far are the Thoroughbred mare, Arabian mare, Friesian and Barock Pinto stallions, Andalusian stallion, Lusitano stallion, Hanoverian stallion, Tennessee Walking Horse stallion and foal, Appaloosa and Quarter Horse stallion. There are ponies, draft horses and more light horse breeds already in production for 2012."
Which one is your favorite? Why?
"That's a hard question. My favorite models tend to be my newest pieces and there is a new Arabian I am working on as well as a couple of Haflinger foals that are in production."
Why do you like Collecta model horses?
"The number one reason I enjoy creating the new Collecta horses is that I am creating them for kids. I remember how much fun it was to play with my models when I was a kid, building imaginary pastures, stables. While I am designing the horses with the younger kids in mind, I also hope that I have added enough details and have stayed within a certain framework of anatomical correctness for the more seasoned collectors among us who appreciate those aspects of collecting to enjoy them as well. I see them as realistic toys meant to inspire kids' imaginations and play. I took some samples with me to a recent live model horse show and the adult collectors were just as excited to see the new models as the kids were.
"Another fun thing about them are the possibilities for custom artists to repaint them. The new Collecta horses are gaining in popularity for customizing artists and I have seen some beautifully repainted Collecta models do well on eBay."
What makes them different than Breyer Horses or Peter Stone Model Horses?
"The Collecta horses are cast in a plastic that has some flexibility to it, unlike the Breyer and Stone model horses which are cast in a harder plastic. The plastic material the Collecta horses are cast in is more like Schleich or Safari model horses - it has some give, and withstands rough play among younger collectors as well as holds wonderful details for the serious hobbyist."
What new sculptures are you working on?
"I have many new projects in the works - too many in fact! There are a few Traditional scale resin horses including a fun new commission piece. Some of the Collecta models are being finished for release, next up will be the Arabian mare and Friesian models. Plus I have a bunch of new molds in various stages of completion for Collecta.
"I'm also continuing to pursue my interest in ceramic horses and will be visiting with Lesli Kathman at her ceramic studio later this year to learn how to make a plaster mold of my newest traditional scale resin Arabian 'Bint Soraya' for production in earthenware."
Learn More About Deborah McDermott and Find Collecta Model Horses